Dingwall based Butterscotch and Glasgow born, Fort Williams based Damaged Goodz release ‘Brothers from Another Planet’ EP, the debut collaborative project from the Scottish stalwarts on Watercolour Music. The six tracks contained in the release are produced entirely by DJ Zeeny who is also the architect behind all of the cuts, it was recorded by Audrey Tait (Novasound) and Nick Turner (Watercolour) who is also responsible for some of the EP artwork. Although this is the first music project the two rappers have released together, they’ve actually collaborated for many years prior to this as organisers of the Church Street Hip Hop events in Inverness. This event took place at Mad Hatters, the upstairs of Hootananny which is the Scottish arm of the samely named venue in Brixton, London. The duo used to ‘jump up on each others sets countless times, even throwing together impromptu sets when acts didn’t show up, we’ve always gelled well so collaborations were inevitable’. The nights would bring many of Scotland’s most active acts at the time to the venue, drawing in a diverse crowd and leading to what has been described as a ‘phenomenal’ music event which many travelled across a fair distance to attend. Other notable solo work from the pair include Butterscotch’s band Spring Break’s Tropicaledonia LP, which is described as a ‘vaguely outrageous, psychedelic 3 piece Hip Hop-folk-funk outfit, hand crafting screwball anthems deep in the Highlands of Scotland’ and Damaged Goodz’ Cover LP, a Hip Hop Opera featuring a full ensemble of guests (including Butterscotch) who play characters in a story made for film, this is still being discussed with various filmmakers as to a future motion picture release. Interestingly they cite inspiration from a wide array of music, including old funk and soul, as well as ‘MC’s with concise musical styles who look at the voice as an instrument; like Edan and Del The Funky Homosapien’, also ‘Most of my inspiration musically actually comes from Heavy Metal as its a different type of songcraft and I try to bring that into Hip Hop, artists like Deftones, System of a Down, Mastodon and Lamb of God are a big influence, The Hip Hop I’m inspired by is mostly Scottish stuff alongside some Ocean Wisdom, Slaine, La Coka Nostra, Royce Tha 5’9 and Ill Bill’.
“There’s still that dated stigma that the Scottish accent shouldn’t be used in Hip Hop, but it’s just a lazy, uninformed position, like comparing every white rapper to Eminem”
When asked about their thoughts on the current Scottish rap scene in general, they responded ‘it just gets better and better across the board. There’s a constant inspiration loop with everyone bettering themselves and each other. I also think that we as a nation have to try even harder to be taken seriously. There’s still that dated stigma that the Scottish accent shouldn’t be used in Hip Hop, but it’s just a lazy, uninformed position, like comparing every white rapper to Eminem’ and ‘the majority of artists from the new school to the old school are constantly pushing themselves creatively, it keeps you on your toes to stay sharp. I just hope when gigs start back everybody supports each other’s nights as much as possible or it dies on its arse’.
Glasgow’s Daily Record referred to the duo as the ‘Scottish Beastie Boys’, when asked about how did this moniker came about they responded ‘I think it was more the music side being compared to the Paul’s Boutique LP, I dont think we sound like the Beasties at all, maybe the inter woven vocals are similar but rhyme wise and flow wise I dont hear it.Its nice to be compared to icons though’, as well as ‘I absolutely love the Beastie Boys, but definitely don’t think we sound like them as MC’s, however there are a lot of back and forth lyrical exchanges on our current EP, so it may be in reference to that’.
This is a release fashioned during the pandemic of 2020, influenced by Funk, Soul, Hip Hop and Heavy Metal, with comparisons being made to Beastie Boys/Paul’s Boutique, all exciting stuff but what was the EP actually like? We beamed aboard the mothership and had a listen..
It’s worth pointing out that when making the EP, writing duties were split in half, so Butterscotch and Damaged Goodz each came up with three concepts and choruses, the odd numbered tracks were developed by DG and the even numbered tracks by Butterscotch. The EP opens with the titular ‘Brothers From Another Planet’, some distressed strings are placed alongside piano and nice kicks, the two different lyrical styles weave together in some smoothly delivered back and forth, their native Scottish accents shine through on this song, a great start. ‘All Terrain’ has a warm soulful sample accompanied by trumpet flourishes throughout, a deliberately slower number which allows the pair to flex a little muscle on vocal execution, whereas ‘Superfly, Superspy’ a narrative driven number has building brass samples that lead into DJ Zeeny cutting up the sounds of Detective Columbo delivering his most famous phrase ‘Just one one more thing sir’, nice touch. ‘Remnant’s of a Bygone Era’ blends Spanish guitar with synth organ and trumpet fanfares, a lovely layered track with some punchy wordplay, ‘Tuxedo Terrorists’ is an upbeat number that drops lines like ‘It’s party time, let’s crack the wine, that glass is mine, got an axe to grind..’, a fun track with strong brassy samples, guitar riffs and just a touch of mouth organ. The EP ends with ‘That’s Entertainment’, a powerful hammond organ sample interlaces with some great cuts by Zeeny, playful lyrics effortlessy delivered by the pair, this is a great body of work.
“The Brothers From Another Planet EP is as close to a Scottish Beastie Boys as anyone has got”
Daily Record, Glasgow
Make sure you check out the video for ‘Brothers..’ which features footage from Plan 9 from Outer Space, a classic Ed Wood Sci Fi which some have dubbed the “worst film ever made”, this is no comparison to the music that accompanies it of course!
‘Brothers From Another Planet’ is out now on all digital channels, it’s a great first outing for the duo, so if you like your Hip Hop steeped in Funk and Soul samples with swiftly delivered back and forth wordplay then grab a copy now! The ‘brothers’ also have plans for a follow up EP, we wait with anticipation for the interplanetary part two of this saga.
What did you think of the EP, what was your favourite song and what are your feelings on rap from our brothers in the north? Tweet me your thoughts.
Words by Theo Specone
Additional photography credits for banner image by Joanne and Robert Hunter